N.C. man lands whopping catfish

June 22, 2011 at 7:55 PM
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RICHMOND, Va., June 22 (UPI) -- A North Carolina football coach used a secret bait to lure what could be a record-breaking blue catfish, a monster weighing 143 pounds and close to 5 feet long.

Nick Anderson of Greenville landed the fish Saturday evening on what is known as the John H. Kerr Reservoir in North Carolina and Buggs Island Lake in Virginia, The Charlotte Observer reported. He was just over the state line so, Virginia's Department of Game and Island Fisheries is trying to determine if the fish has broken the state record for blue catfish.

"Everybody is really excited," Lee Walker, a department spokesman, said. "Blue cats are considered one of the top game fish out there. There's a huge following. There's a tournament circle. This will bring national headlines."

The previous world record for a blue catfish is 130 pounds, a fish caught last year on the Missouri River. Walker said it is unusual to break a record by several pounds.

The fish was in many ways the result of a family effort. Anderson used a "family secret" bait, and his father and brother grabbed the head and tail while he took the mid-section.

The fish, now sitting in a freezer, is 57 inches long and has a 43-inch girth.

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